Sunday, November 21, 2010

Part 19: Goodbyes

"What should we do for the service?" the woman asked her husband. She wondered if he thought it strange that she wanted a service in the first place. Her husband seemed okay with it, so she didn't worry too much about it. As they discussed the details, the woman made some notes.

"This looks good!" she said smiling. "It will be a wonderful service." 

Just then a faint emotion stirred within her and began to crescendo. Before she knew it tears were filling her eyes and she started to sniffle. At last an audible cry emerged.

The woman's husband took her in his arms and comforted her. "Just let it out," he said in a warm voice.

While she had cried different times over the past couple weeks, it had been about other things—the stress, her condition, the long road ahead. This was the first cry in awhile that actually grieved the loss of her pregnancy, yet it felt just as fresh as the first time and emotionally it was just as hard.

The cool Sunday morning air filled her lungs as she made her way to the backyard where she found her husband standing by the small spruce tree. Sunshine settled upon the tiny hole beneath the lower branches he had dug just moments before in preparation to receive the package she held in her hand wrapped in a white napkin.

Together they stood looking down at the site, the wind blowing and the sound of passing cars traveling along the nearby country road resonating in the distance. They began to sing:

How great is our God.
Sing with me, how great is our God.
And all will see how great, how great is our God.

She placed the tiny package into the small hole. After each shared a few words, the husband closed in a prayer.

“Dear Lord, we thank you for the gift of each other and for this pregnancy. Even though it wasn't a baby, it was still special. We pray for healing in the months ahead—spiritually, emotionally, and physically—so that someday we can try again and be blessed with a baby.”

With a small spade they took turns covering the newly filled space with a mixture of soil and wood chips. Every spade-full finalized reality. Dreams of starting a family, caring for a baby of their own, passing on the many things they wish to teach, and enjoying God's gift of a new person had been postponed. They offered up one more moment of silence, then turned and together walked away.

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